Patriots receiver Wes Welker was a guest on WAAF-FM in Boston today, visiting in-studio with "The Hill-Man Morning Show" (audio here).
Some quick hits:
On his comment that there should be a lockout every year: "I said that as a joke, and even in the article it was a joke -- they said 'he said it jokingly' -- and yet they use it in the court of law. You all hear me on here, I joke around quite a bit. It was a little bit disappointing. If I really didn't want to play football, I probably would have gone on PUP last year. I probably would have gone on IR. I worked my tail off so I could play football. That was all a joke. It's kind of discouraging they would actually use that in the court of law, and you have to see it everywhere and things like that. Shoot, I guess the gloves are off [laughing], and they're going after everything. You have to really watch what you say, whether you say you're joking or not."
On if Chad Ochocinco could fit in with the Patriots: "That's all up to the coaches. I think he'd be fine. I think he's pretty harmless. He does all the extra stuff that I'm sure Bill [Belichick] is not too fond of. It's never anything too bad. You never know."
On the lockout: "I have no idea. The only thing I know is the same thing everybody else reads and sees. I really have no clue what's going on or what's going to happen. It seems like we're not making a lot of headway. I hope we do. We need to have football, and I think it's always bad for a game whenever the games aren't being played, especially for these younger guys, being able to get in camp and really, this is a time of year where they're able to come along and make strides. The rookies are definitely going to be behind, not getting those minicamps and things like that. Hopefully we figure all that out and get it all done, and we'll have football."
On the possibility of losing the fans: "Yeah, I'm a fan myself. Even looking at it [like that], it almost seems stupid. I know fans sit there and it's billionaires and millionaires -- not a lot of millionaires but some -- fighting over money; I don't think the average fan wants to sit there and hear about that. I know I don't and I'm part of the situation. I definitely think we have a deal where we could lose fans. It's sad and it's something we definitely need to figure out. ... I know I'm already bothered by it. Hopefully it all works out in the end, but it's definitely one of those deals where we really need to iron it out, get together, and make sure we have football this season."
On his workouts this offseason: "It's your job. For me, I'm getting great work. I've been out in Florida training there. I've been getting great work in and I know a lot of guys have been too. I know there are some guys working out here together, which is great. I think the main thing is just making sure you're staying ready and focused and getting the work you need to be ready for the season. That's kind of the key thing right now, making sure you're staying on top of all that."
On his meeting with Jets coach Rex Ryan this offseason after his foot-filled news conference in the playoffs: "I apologized and he was a good sport about it, and everything like that. ... I bought him a beer. He's a good man. Great coach, obviously."
On his feelings on a new contract before the season, entering the final year of his pact: "It all depends. I'm good either way. For me, it's just going out there and playing good ball. If it's before or after, I don't care. I'm going to go out there and play some good ball, and let everything take care of itself."
On if he likes it here: "Oh yeah. Are you kidding me? That's the thing, I'm able to compare it to when I was 4-12. Winning can go a long ways in happiness. I know the Patriots are very committed to that. Hopefully we're able to move along and win some games in the future."
On the Patriots' draft: "I think this was probably the most surprising draft that I've seen from us since I've been here, just as far as needs. Obviously, I don't think we really draft according to needs. We draft according to players who are going to be good players for a long time. Hopefully we found some of those. You never know..."